THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TURKISH REPUBLIC AND ARMENIA FROM LAUSSANNE TO PRESENT TIME
Saturday, February 10, 2007 12:33:06 PM
The states which had been the protectors of Armenians for long years, claimed that they fulfilled this task with humanitarian feelings for human rights and justice, and they gave them promises and made commitments about some issues. However, when they saw that they would not benefit from this policy, they left them to their fate in Laussane Peace Conference. Armenians hoped that great European countries would be able to find solutions to their problems. When they understood that they would not be able to realize their demand in this way, they felt the necessity of befriending to Russia. Armenians thought that Russians had always been the natural enemy of Turks throughout history, that there was a deep-rooted antipathy between them, because Russia still aimed at reaching the Iranian Gulf or The Mediterranean Sea via Eastern Anatolia. They thought that any kind of regime in Russia would protect Armenians. Upon this thought, they prepared a program and decided to work on the principles below:
To consolidate the economy and the culture of Soviet Armenian Republic apart from the regime of the country.
To ensure and protect the national feelings, language, religion, culture and targets of Armenians living in the different parts of the world.
To ensure the demands and claims of Armenians in European countries and The League of Nations and to watch for an opportunity for this.
To provide donations of from charities for Armenian people and immigrants; to bring up orphans, to give necessary assistance to the ill and those in need.
It was planned to establish an organization to practice this program and to receive the support of Armenians living in Europe. However, some groups which opposed this, as they were afraid that committees would intervene again. In spite of this, the Tashnak Committee continued its demands about a “United and Independent Armenia”.
After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, a non-aggression pact was signed on December 17, 1925 between Soviet Russia and the Turkish Republic. That pact was in force for almost 20 years, however, when Second World War broke out Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs gave a note to the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, stating that the agreement was invalid from then on. While Turkey was under such bad circumstances, a petition signed by effective and dominant figures of the Armenian Diaspora in America, was submitted to Harry S. Truman, President of the United States. This petition, provoked by Armenian Tashnak Revolutionary Committee member, tried to bring the old problems on the agenda considering that Turkey living through extremely different difficult conditions.
In the petition submitted to Truman, it was requested that the USA should suggest the board of the United Nations (UN) that Armenia should attain its borders drawn by Woodrov Wilson, the President in 1920. Soviet Russia administrators began to follow a different policy when the Second World War ended. According to this policy, all Armenians living around the world would gather in Soviet Armenia Republic; Armenians who dispersed around the world would be provoked to rise in rebellion; especially Turkish antagonism would be regenerated; thus, they would get control of Eastern Anatolia. To this end, they started a intensive provocation. The advantages and benefits of the regime of Soviet Russia were explained; the exaggerated pleasure of Armenians in Soviet Armenia was propagated. For this reason, in order to deceive Armenians living in other countries and persuade them to join this cause, agents were sent those countries and Armenian Societies were established; it was put forward that the cause of Armenia was a problem of humanity and justice, hence, big states were called to be a mediator for this issue.
As the result of the aforementioned studies, the activities below were realized:
An American committee, so-called “Justice”, was founded by Armenians in Washington, the capital of the United States in December 1945. This committee, formed by people with communist tendencies published a declaration and demanded that Eastern parts of Anatolia should be given back to Armenian Republic, and the Turkish-Armenian border drawn by Wilson should be put into practice.
VI. Kevork Corekciyan, Echmiyazin Catholicos, sent a diplomatic note to Stalin, Soviet leader of Soviet Union Public Commissariat, to Truman, president of the United States, to Atlee, prime minister of England. In this diplomatic note old claims were repeated and it was demanded that towns in Eastern Anatolia had to be given to Soviet Armenia.
The activities in Syria and Lebanon: Soviet Russia increased its activities concerning Armenians by making use of the weak administration in Syria and Lebanon; it provoked Armenians there under the guise of assistance. These activities were conducted by the diplomats of Soviet Russia and one each head offices were opened in Aleppo, Damascus, Beirut and in many other cities. There were many schools, teachers of which were Russian Armenians. Military officers worked in these schools as agents. As a result of these activities, an Armenian organization was formed consisting of 100.000 members, 30.000 of whom lived in Lebanon. Solod, the Soviet Ambassador, founded “the Society of Armenian Friends” in Damascus with the cooperation of a communist party chaired by Armenian Hrant Devyan whoo had a political tendency towards Moscow. In those organizations communist members worked and aimed at annexing Eastern Anatolia to the Soviet Union, with the promise of founding an independent Armenia State.
In January 1946, a Soviet diplomat visited Beirut, met with representatives of Armenians in Lebanon and Hatay one by one and informed them about the directives of Soviet Russia.
The Armenian Committee in Lebanon sent a telegram to UN Security Counsel on May 16, 1946, saying that “we demand that our aforementioned territories should be annexed to Soviet Armenia in return for the confiscation of our goods and the invasion of our territories by Turks during the events resulted in the death of one and half million Armenians.
Armenian defense committee in Paris, in June 1946 sent a diplomatic note to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of four big states, demanding the annexation of Kars and Ardahan to Soviet Armenia.
Soviet Russia tried to influence Armenians in the country in various ways and also tried to seduce Armenians in other countries. Civenof, who was one of the members of the Armenian Science Academy was made to give a conference to the representatives of Armenian commission on February 20, 1946 at the hall of Polytechnic School in Moscow. During this conference the lecturer stated that Van, Bitlis, Elazığ, Erzurum, Sivas and Trabzon were within the borders of Armenia; he said that Armenians were killed in masses and accused the great states of Europe of having been spectators during such a tragedy. Civenof praised the interest of Russians for Armenians, and emphasized that towns in Eastern Anatolia left to Armenians in compliance with the Peace Treaty of Sévres had been exposed to attacks by Turks and that Turks regained control of the towns with the Treaty of Gumru signed with Tashnak Revolutionary committee members.
National Armenian Counsel prepared an 800-person feast for an American association named “Defense Association for Armenian Rights”. During the feast it was decided that one and half million Armenians dispersed all around the world would apply to UN board to claim the annexation of East Anatolian towns, which had been confiscated by Turks to Soviet Armenia.
On July 29, 1946 in Erivan, Bochon, a representative of English- Soviet Association told journalists that: “Each Englishman who knows Armenian history, knows about their sufferings and sympathize them. We will try to make these positive feelings the general view of English public opinion when we return home.”
Armenian Counsel in the United States published a brochure titled “What do Armenians want?” in September 1946. They claimed that the population of Armenians was increasing; the territories confiscated by Turks were empty and they added: “Armenians just want justice to prevail in order that their territories are given back to them.”
On August 15, 1946, Turkish-Armenian Problem Defense Committee applied to representatives of 21 nations in UN with a message about Turkish-Armenian Issue.
French Armenian Committee arranged a religious service chaired by Monsignor Manukyan on April 24, 1965, at the Armenian Church. In the evening of the same day, Old Warriors Association realized a demonstration and laid a wreath on the Unknown Soldier monument in France. Next day, another religious service was arranged at Notre Dame Church.
Demonstrations were also realized in England on April 24, 1969 which was declared as the remembrance day of the Armenian dead. An Armenian group, the majority of which was young, protested Turkey while passing by the Turkish Embassy.
Turkish antagonism appeared in the universities in the United States. An Armenian tycoon, named Agop Kevorkyan, donated 30 million Turkish Liras to New York University and had “the Institute of the East” department of the university closed down, and the Institute of Armenian Language and History founded. Now in New York university, people who have never heard about the existence of such a society study the language and history of Armenians, who had never notified to a nation.
Armenians in Latin America arranged a demonstration in Brazil, in the city of San Paulo, where Armenian majority lived. Armenians carried out a ceremony at the monument of Armenian Dead on April 24, 1965 of 50th Anniversary of putting into force the Law of Relocation, and a play titled “The Adventures of Armenians 1915” was written and played by Armenians of Brazil at a theatre of San Paolo.
An establishment on behalf of the United States National Armenian Committee, gave an announcement to the New York Times, in order to have the Armenian issue placed on the agenda of UN on April 2, 1967, when Cevdet Sunay, the president of Turkish Republic was visiting the United States.
Armenian Revolutionary committee members demanded that putting the Armenian issue on the agenda of UN had to be supported with this announcement, and hence they claimed that Turkey would participate in and serve for the world peace.
Armenians did not refrain from continuing their protests by means of press during president Sunay’s visit to Paris. It was stated in the article written by Hrant Samuel that: “Armenians in Paris welcomed General Sunay and expressed their respect and regard for this country; Turkish president received a standing ovation from them. However, we would like to emphasize that it does not mean that Armenians do not demand anything from Turkey. We would not give up our just cause, we will continue our struggle in the political arena in peace and try to find a solution.”
Patriarch I. Horen, took a trip in Europe, met with Makarios in Cyprus and following this, provocative publications in Armenian began to be published in Cyprus. Meanwhile, due to the 45th Anniversary of its foundation Armenian Ramgavar Party, the headquarter of which was in Lebanon, made a statement to the press about its purpose and plans concerning the determination of the boundaries of the territories which had been belonged to Armenians but now confiscated by Turks; realizing the independence and freedom efforts of Armenians in the framework of a free and democratic understanding.
While Armenian Revolutionary committee members were arranging demonstrations, conferences and protests in the countries where they were living, in order to protect their own existence and interests, Archbishop Shinork Kalusyan, Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul, made statements to the world press on February 6, 1967 and April 4, 1967 as a response to the events going on throughout the world. He announced that there was not an Armenian Issue since Lausanne Treaty was signed, and that he regretted to see the development of these events.
Muslims of Lebanon and Christian Arabs commemorated 54th Anniversary of so-called Armenian Genocide all together in 1969, and Lebanon Government granted a day off Armenian officials on April 24 to mourn. As a result of this they arranged demonstrations in the streets against Turks and Israelis.
Big demonstrations were arranged in France, the United States, Germany and Greece due to the 60th Anniversary of the so-called Genocide, claimed to be realized against Armenians. Governments of aforementioned countries had to take measures concerning the protection of Turks before those demonstrations. (1)
After 1965, the Armenian issue was felt strongly in the world and in Turkish public opinion because of a campaign started by Armenians in various countries, to discredit Turkey. It turned into terrorist actions against Turkish representations abroad in 1970’s. “Individual Armenian Terror” started with the murders of Consul-general of Los Angeles, Mehmet Baydar and Consul Bahadır Demir by an old Armenian named Gurgen (Karekin) Yanikan on January 27, 1973 in Santa Barbara, USA. Then, it turned into “Organized Armenian Terror” in 1975.Armenian Attack directed to Turkish Embassies, Institutions and officials abroad, increased in a short time and became denser after 1980. Armenian terrorists realized 110 terrorist attacks, 39 of which were committed with arms and 70 of which were realized with bombs. These attacks were carried out in 38 cities of 21 countries. During these attacks 42 Turkish diplomats and 4 foreigners lost their lives, 15 Turkish and 66 foreigners injured.
The First World Congress of Armenian Organizations met in Paris on September 3-6 1979. ASALA participated in the congress with a significant power and played an efficient role during the congress. The congress had a great influence on the Armenian revolutionary forces in France, ASALA became particularly effective by providing participation to the terrorist organization. The purpose of this congress might be summarized as gathering and organizing Armenians in the world around a single ideal and under a flag, and making efforts to demand land use of convenient political circles.
PKK, the terrorist organization, declared the date of 21-28 April 1980 as the Red week and Armenians commemorated 24 April as so-called Armenian massacre day and arranged meetings on that date. PKK and ASALA, the terrorist organizations, arranged a joint press conference on April 08, 1980 in Sidon, Lebanon. As a result of this conference a declaration was prepared and they took a decision to organize their relations in an illegal arena secretly due to the reactions received from various sources. After the meeting, the attacks directed to Turkish Consulate-General in Strasbourg on November 09, 1980, and to THY agency in Rome on November 19, 1980 were undertaken jointly by the terrorist organizations, PKK and ASALA.
1983 Lausanne Congress was gathered owing to the important developments. Terrorism increased so considerably that world public opinion was about to condemn Armenians and terrorists. Especially the actions in the form of massacres began to disturb even the states that gave support to the Armenian cause. Under these circumstances Lausanne Congress was gathered in order to “unify the Armenian political views and direct their activities in one direction”. At the end of the congress, in which ASALA had not participated and parties in favor of violence were in the minority, separations from Tashnak and ASALA were observed. Sub terrorist teams and groups sometimes organized actions in the form of vagabond new organizations, their majority was cleared up, arrested and convicted.
The basic purpose of the congress titled “Third World Congress of Armenian Organizations” gathered in Sévres on July 7-13, 1987, was to accept the draft of the “Armenian Constitution”. Therefore, it was decided to form a “Union” which would represent Armenians throughout the world. During the congress which Armenian terrorist organizations did not attend legally, quality of the representation of Tashnaqs led to discussions. ASALA, which was not represented in this congress was exposed to drastic criticism.
With the participation of members of Armenian Hinchak Party, the terrorist organizations ASALA and PKK, a meeting was arranged at the headquarters of PKK in West Beirut on June 4, 1993.
Meetings were arranged in two different churches in Beirut on January 6-9, 1993 with the participation of Lebanon Armenian Orthodox Archbishop, Armenian authorities and 150 young people. The following decisions were taken:
For now, calm stance should be displayed against Turkey.
Armenian society has enlarged gradually and has been getting stronger economically.
By means of propagandist activities developed, the so-called genocide has started to be known well throughout the world.
Armenian state has been founded; they will take revenge of their ancestors and their territories have been gradually expanding.
Western countries, especially the United States, have considered Armenians to be right in the still war continuing in Nagorno Karabakh; this chance should be made use of and new young men should join the Armenian youth in Nagorno Karabakh.
Civil war (meaning the struggle against PKK terrorist organization) will go on in Turkey; its economy will decline to the bottom; citizens will rebel.
Turkey will be divided.
Kurdish State will be founded in Turkey.
Armenians should continue their friendly relations with Kurds and support the struggle of Kurds.
The territories under the control of Turks now, will be under the control of Armenians tomorrow.
Meanwhile, it is known that the arms supplied from Greece or other countries with the help of Greece with the money collected in October —November —December 1992 for Armenian Parties and institutions in Lebanon and other countries, and the food supplied with the rest of the money has been sent to Armenia at the beginning of January 1993, in order to transfer them to Armenians fighting in Nagorno Karabakh.
Armenian committees which transferred their activities to PKK terrorist organization in Turkey after 1984, have continued to make their so-called claims by means of Armenian Diaspora. They had the parliaments of some European countries, especially some states in the United States, which supported them issue laws which recognized the “so-called Armenian Genocide”. This process is still continuing.
(1) Sakarya, Em. Tümg. İhsan, Belgelerle Ermeni Sorunu, Gnkur. Basımevi, Ankara, 1984, 2. Baskı, sh. 439-474